Sunday, December 31, 2017

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

   Marjorie Rawlings is best known for The Yearling, a novel about the life of a subsistence farming family in rural Florida. The book is centered around the adventures of their only child, a young boy who befriends an orphaned fawn. Rawlings wrote ten books and dozens of short stories, many of them while living at her home in Cross Creek, Florida which is now the state park.

   Rawlings purchased the homestead and orange grove in 1928 to satisfy her love of nature and her craving for a quiet place to write. When she died in 1953 the homestead was willed to the University of Florida. The homestead became a state park in the 1970s. At that time  Rawling’s husband, Norton Baskin, donated all of the original furniture and household items that had been in storage to the park. The house has been returned to its original appearance as closely as possible.
  The state park includes the main house which is actually three buildings joined together to make a rambling eight room house, a tenant house where her maids lived, a reconstructed barn, chicken and duck coops, a vegetable garden, remnants of the orange grove, and two short trails. Visitors may tour the property and peek in the windows anytime the park is opened but to see the inside of the house visit on Thursday through Sunday for a guided tour.
  One of the park brochures states that the park is disability friendly. This is not true as nothing is wheelchair friendly. The trail from the parking lot is loose sand, the buildings have steps but not ramps, and the trails are rough with roots and lumpy ground.

  Small RVs will fit in the parking lot but it much easier to park in the large county boat ramp and picnic ground parking lot adjacent to the park. Park  29.48015, -82.1605

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